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Hostage Negotiation Team

Hostage Negotiation Team

The Hostage Negotiation Team (HNT) is a specialty team within the department utilized in conjunction with the Tactical Response Team (TRT).  Their efforts are used to communicate with barricaded subjects and hostage takers, who may be violent, subjects threatening suicide or that are experiencing some other crisis.  Their main objective is to have a peaceful surrender.

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The HNT are members of the Florida Association of Hostage Negotiators (FAHN) and the Bay Area Negotiation Group (BANG).  Meetings are held either on a monthly or bi-monthly basis depending on information retrieved from law enforcement agencies regarding recent hostage situations.

Hostage Negotiation Team Emblem

There are 11 full-time members and two training alternate members on the HNT.  The full-time members respond to call-outs 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  The training alternates only respond to call-outs while they are on-duty within the department.

Training

The tryout process requires officers to pass the standard law enforcement qualification course conducted yearly and to run an additional 1.5 miles within 15 minutes or less.  The officer undergoes an additional psychological evaluation and a scenario based interview process.  Once chosen as a member, training begins on a monthly basis to include scenario base training and critiqued sessions regarding recent hostage situations.  All members train with the TRT twice a year.  

HNT Members Shooting HNT Training With Shield, Shotgun, And Firearm HNT Member Shooting Behind Cover

Barricaded Suspect(s)

NegotiatorsHostage Negotiators With BullhornWhen dealing with a barricaded / armed suspect(s), the Hostage Negotiation Team and the TRT work hand-in-hand in an initial attempt to accomplish a peaceful surrender.  The TRT will tactically deliver a rescue phone supplied by the Hostage Negotiation Team to the suspect(s) for communication purposes.  However, if the negotiators are unsuccessful in convincing the suspect(s) to surrender, TRT will use physical means to prevent any further risk to law enforcement and the community in taking this individual into custody. 

Hostage Negotiation Team Truck

HNT Truck

The Hostage Negotiation Team Truck utilizes a Tactical Command and Communications Vehicle that provides Tampa Police Commanders with a wide range of communication devices.  This vehicle has access to radio linking systems, digital emergency response systems, and video feeds from deployed units.  This Federal Grant-funded vehicle is equipped with a variety of electronic devices including laptops, printer, fax machine, scanner, wireless router, telephones, satellite broadcast, weather systems, and Negotiations equipment.